North Yorkshire Police Commissioner Philip Allott, whose comments on the murder of Sarah Everard sparked criticism, resigned on Oct. 14 after a no-confidence vote.
The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel passed a unanimous vote of “catastrophic lack of confidence” in Allot as commissioner over the comments he made in a radio interview urging women to be “streetwise.”
“Women, first of all, need to be streetwise about when they can be arrested and when they can’t be arrested. She should never have been arrested and submitted to that,” Allot told BBC Radio York about Everard’s case.
Allot made the comments after the sentencing of former Metropolitan Police Officer Wayne Couzens, who used his warrant card and handcuffs to abduct Everard, then he raped and murdered her.
The comments sparked demands for his resignation, even from his 32-strong team, accusing him of victim blaming.
“We believed there was a lack of trust and confidence in him that made his position untenable and he should go,” Panel Chair Carl Les said in a statement.
Allot initially refused to resign despite the vote. However, three hours after the panel meeting, he announced his resignation in an open letter, apologizing for his remarks.
“I misspoke and I am devastated at the effect that this has had on victims of crime and the groups that support them,” Allot wrote.
Allot said that his resignation was “to restore confidence in the office which I believe will be almost impossible for me to do, and to enable victims’ voices to be heard clearly without the distraction of the continued furor which surrounds me.”
Les said the panel will now arrange the appointment of an acting commissioner, as well as the election of a new commissioner at the appropriate time.
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